Author Topic: Credential question  (Read 4293 times)

Offline Chelc

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Credential question
« on: July 11, 2007, 07:53:30 PM »
I didn't really think this topic had a proper place on the forums, so it's going here. (because listing credentials in queries is the right way to go, eh?)
Credentials.
Yes, they are important when querying.
Yes, if you've won or entered lots of good stuff you look much more promising.
Blah blah blah.
Soooo, what's a good amount of credentials to have? Because so far all I've got is an August Derleth Young Author fifth place ribbon at state when I was in fourth grade (yes, fourth graders can go to state competitions...what else could you expect in Wisconsin?). Then in fifth and sixth grade, I entered August Derleth again, but didn't get into state. And then lastly, and I highly doubt this actually counts for anything, I'll be taking a creative writing class second semester in High School next year (so it won't be until mid-January)
Wow, I need to get moving  :yes:

Offline justwrite

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Re: Credential question
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2007, 08:58:28 PM »
I wouldn't sweat it. I'm three times your age (and even more than that) and my writing credentials are: SQUAT
Yet I have had a request for four partials.
Work on your writing, then have a great query letter that has a terrific hook.

Offline JeffCrook

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Re: Credential question
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2007, 10:28:48 PM »
I'll second that. I have credentials out the wazoo. It helps, but if what you're offering is crap, it doesn't help enough unless you're Stephen King or somebody like that.

I wouldn't mention that fourth grade contest. You may be proud, but I doubt it will come across as well as you would like. Never mention the contests you haven't won, or the ones you have entered. Anybody can enter a contest. Winning one, especially a pretigious one, is all that counts.

Honestly, if you are in high school, I would research every contest for your age group and enter them all. You win a big one and agents will be calling you. The thing is, don't get over anxious. You have the luxury of time on your side right now. Winning a new writer contest can be a huge advantage to you. It's one of the only advantages of having never been published. I know a guy who won a first novel contest - he was an older guy and already quite well off - doctor, plenty of money, etc. He won a major first novel contest. Not only were agents calling him, publishers had a bidding war for his winning novel (he got six figures, btw), and then one day Stephen Spielberg called his office - he hung up on the guy, thinking it was a joke. Spielberg's assistant called back - and after the misunderstanding was cleared up, he optioned the movie rights for his novel.

Honest to God, I wish I had gone this route. I did what I did and got four work-for-hire novels published in the Dragonlance universe. But today I would much rather have published one of my own novels, something purely my own. That's what I'm trying to do now.

Offline Chelc

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Re: Credential question
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2007, 11:46:03 PM »
yay! Good advice. I'm glad I found this website. I think I'm learning more from you guys than I could anywhere else.
aaannndd, not to brag or anything, but I brought my word count up by 7,000 today. which is good for me.
:write: I'm a fast typer. And waaayy too over-imaginative. And way too descriptive  ;)

Offline justwrite

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Re: Credential question
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2007, 12:07:23 AM »
7,000 words in one day? I think I wrote about 30. okay...I actually finished a chapter and started a new one. My lack of focus is the reason I keep hanging out here! Or maybe this forum is distracting me. Oh, I'll come up with a good excuse eventually.

Offline Chelc

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Re: Credential question
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2007, 12:10:20 AM »
haha. well, like I said, I type fast. Once I get a new idea, I can't stop until it's all out. And besides, it's summer break, my friends are all on vacation. I have nothing else to do but stare at the wall (not fun).